In the good old Bipartisan Days, reporter Michael Shear laments, Both Sides had no trouble agreeing that migrants and refugees entering the US had to be dealt with, and dealt with sternly. But now Donald Trump's Wall is diverting the desired official discourse away from all those other harsh methods of keeping people out and disposing of them.
Back in the good old polite days, officials knew how to keep their racism and xenophobia carefully hidden from public view as they crafted their racist, xenophobic policies.
By conjuring images of a towering stone edifice around a medieval fortress — and branding those on the outside as invaders threatening to bring crime, drugs and disease to the United States — Mr. Trump has transformed what used to be a complicated, nuanced negotiation into a take-it-or-leave-it demand, laced with xenophobia, that has shuttered nearly a quarter of the government for weeks.Only "laced with" xenophobia? Shear must be so used to reporting the legendary nuanced collegiality among the politicians of the Uniparty that he can only complain that Trump's demands and rhetoric are a tad on the bigoted side. He dare not state the obvious: that this president is a human-shaped brick of pure cocaine, or maybe it's a boulder-sized rock of crystal meth with a chaser of heroin. Those drugs that Trump claims are "flooding" over the border are unfairly competing with him. And he won't rest until he poisons a lot more people than the current third of the population that is currently hooked on him.
But back to the good old sober days. The Uniparty racketeers would often collegially stuff their faces with pizza as they politely debated how many tens of thousands of extra border security agents should be hired to confiscate the clandestine jugs of water left by sympathetic citizens for the migrants making the deadly trek through some of the most brutal climate conditions on the planet.
It was so reasonable back then that Democrats even agreed to double the border security patrols, a good faith gesture of overkill designed to placate the more openly racist Republicans.
They were such ardent sticklers for xenophobic decency, in fact, that
Senators from both parties also agreed on money for technological improvements along the border. The bill allocated $3.2 billion for drones, infrared ground sensors and long-range thermal imaging cameras to give Border Patrol agents advance notice when migrants cross illegally, especially at night. It also included money for an electronic employment verification system for all employers and upgrades at airports to catch immigrants who overstay their visas.The polite xenophobes at least had the good taste to call their barriers "fencing" while pretending that Reaper drones are totally benign. In the good old pre-Trumpian days, the profiteers of the military-industrial complex could mask their greed and inhumanity behind all that overpriced surveillance and weaponry. And now Trump has to ruin the whole enterprise with his unrefined, retrograde, low-tech gibberish. He has brought such uncomfortable and unwanted attention to the heretofore ignored border. It used to be that Homeland Security cops firing tear gas across the border into another sovereign nation (Mexico), and the imprisonment of mothers and children in "family detention" prisons were perfectly acceptable to most American liberals. The previous Democratic administration practiced their inhumanity so discreetly, you see.
And the consensus included some physical barriers — what Mr. Trump might call walls and others would call fencing. Years earlier, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 allocated money to build about 650 miles of barriers along the border. The 2013 bill, had it been signed into law, would have increased that total to almost 700 miles, mostly along the eastern half of the border with Mexico.
No more. Thanks a lot, Trump, for ripping the mask off the all-American cruelty.
Oh, and the word salad that keeps spinning out of that pursed little mouth! Michael Shear quotes The Donald:
In remarks to reporters after a meeting with Democrats at the White House earlier this month, Mr. Trump insisted that the only way to prevent immigrants from crossing between the 25 official ports of entry is to erect fences everywhere else.Still, faithful establishment scribe that he is, Shear soon reverts back to Both Siderism, decrying the dreaded Tone that all too often gets in way of proper racketeering discourse:
“We can’t let gaps. Because if you have gaps, those people are going to turn their vehicles, or the gangs — they’re going to coming in through those gaps,” the president said. “And we cannot let that happen.”
In recent days, the rhetoric between the two sides has become more strident than ever. Mr. Trump and his Republican allies have pointed out that Democrats supported fencing in the past, though they purposefully ignore the context of those votes and the difference between the fencing that Democrats supported and the all-or-nothing wall that the president has demanded.And she was no doubt also very steely while she was at it.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has called the wall “immoral,” cementing her position against it.